Can­cer pa­tient moves AZ staff with thank-you

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

STAFF at As­traZeneca were moved to tears when a can­cer pa­tient told them how the drug they pro­duced helped her re­cover.

More than 500 em­ploy­ees at As­traZeneca’s Hurds­field site – from pack­ers to de­vel­op­ment sci­en­tists – gath­ered to hear Sue Vin­cent’s story of re­cov­ery from ovar­ian can­cer.

She told them how the drug de­signed and packed at the Hurds­field site, given to her as part of a clin­i­cal trial, had changed her life.

Site lead Andy Evans said: “It was a real priv­i­lege to have Sue with us to­day.

“She told her story from the heart and I know it has meant a lot to the peo­ple on site.

“Know­ing that pa­tients like Sue are those who re­ceive the medicines we de­velop and man­u­fac­ture helps us all to put the pa­tient at the heart of ev­ery­thing we do.”

Sue en­rolled on a clin­i­cal trial of As­traZeneca’s PARP in­hibitor six and half years ago af­ter her ovar­ian can­cer re­lapsed. She had tested pos­i­tive for a spe­cific can­cer mu­ta­tion called BRCA – the same as ac­tress An­gelina Jolie – and was of­fered en­try to the trial by her con­sul­tant.

Ar­riv­ing on site in Mac­cles­field, Sue de­scribed the emo­tion of her diagnosis, how the BRCA mu­ta­tion test had en­abled her to join the trial and what life has been like since she has taken the new medicine.

Sue thanked all those gath­ered to hear her for their work in get­ting medicines to pa­tients.

Af­ter the ses­sion Sue vis­ited the lab­o­ra­to­ries where the medicine was de­vel­oped. She toured the pack­ing line and talked with the team who spend their days pre­par­ing the medicine for distri­bu­tion to mar­kets across the world.

An­drew Hig­gins, direc­tor of Busi­ness Part­ner­ing Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said it was valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence for staff of all po­si­tions to

‘She told her story from the heart and I know it has meant a lot’

hear the ef­fects of the work they do.

He said: “We al­ways say to the staff, whether you are clean­ing the car park, pack­ing drugs or are a de­vel­op­ment sci­en­tist, you are play­ing a vi­tal role.

“But it’s very dif­fer­ent when a pa­tient comes in and talks to them di­rectly about how im­por­tant their work is. Peo­ple were de­lighted and very moved by her story.”

Mem­bers of the pack­ing team at As­traZeneca with re­cov­er­ing can­cer pa­tient Sue Vin­cent (sec­ond left)

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